"It's 1938 and Iran is Germany." So declared Benjamin Netanyahu. That the Israeli Prime Minister would offer such a chilling historical analogy should leave little doubt as to the grave implications of Iran proceeding on its
As a ruse, he claimed that he only wanted self-determination.
militaristic course, as well as the imperative need to confront that threat before it's too late.
In retrospect, 1938 was a pivotal year, the last chance for the Allies, namely Britain and France, to have stopped Hitler's Germany before it began its blitzkrieg for world conquest, and its genocidal campaign against the Jews. Germany had not yet reached the point where it was capable of launching an attack against its primary foes, France and Britain. It had just annexed Austria in a predictable, bloodless coup and prepared for its next target, Czechoslovakia.
Hitler knew that, in order to conquer Europe, he first had to force Czechoslovakia into submission, preferably without a military invasion. Yet Hitler not only wanted to eliminate Czechoslovakia as a military threat, but ultimately as a nation. As a ruse, he claimed that he only wanted self-determination for the Germans of the Sudetenland, hoping to compel the gullible leaders of France and Britain to acquiesce and sell out the Czechs.
By threatening war if Czechoslovakia didn't cede the Sudetenland to Germany, Hitler effectively blackmailed the idealistic, yet hopelessly naive British Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, into forcing the insufferably timid Czech President, Edward Benes, to give up the strategic Sudetenland. After all, Chamberlain reasoned, this area was mostly populated by Germans who only wanted self-determination, and besides, the German leadership promised they had no more territorial demands. Benes, a weakling to the core, refused to go it alone and stand up to the Germans, despite his formidable Czech army, while Neville Chamberlain desperately wanted peace at all costs, and was willing to appease Hitler no matter what the cost. Even if it meant sacrificing a democratic ally.
After 1938 it was too late. By the spring of 1940 Hitler had defeated France and prepared to destroy Britain.
If today is eerily reminiscent of 1938, and Iran is the successor to Nazi Germany, then Barack Obama is Neville Chamberlain and the West Bank is the Sudetenland.
To characterize the new president as anti-Israel is perhaps unfair. He is not anti-Israel in the sense that he bodes ill for the Jewish state, but neither is he inclined to adamantly support Israel against its enemies, which also happen to be the enemies of the United States. The president is so devoted to the premise of "peace at all costs" he'd sell out both the Jewish state and, in the long run, the United States, in his quest to accommodate a rogue nation that desires the destruction of both.
The leader of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has made no secret of his desire to destroy Israel. To do this he needs to acquire tactical nuclear weapons. He already has the missiles, he just needs the bombs. To get them he needs time, at most a few years, to continue unhindered to develop the atomic bomb. To do that, he needs the United States to be passive while Iran builds a nuclear arsenal. This also means that the Americans must prevent Israel from attacking Iran.
So Ahmadinejad will need to convince Barack Obama of Iran's peaceful intentions,
The Iranian nuclear program appears to be right on schedule.
which shouldn't be too difficult since this president is already predisposed towards striving for a peaceful outcome with any nation, be it Cuba, North Korea or Iran. All Iran has to do is declare its commitment to peace, then reinforce President Obama's belief that if only Israel gave up the West Bank to the Palestinians the Middle East would have "peace in our time." Iran will also need to count on the novice president to ignore or trivialize all of that on-the-record rhetoric from the Iranian leadership about how they want to destroy Israel, then the United States, in order to usher in a worldwide Islamic caliphate or die in the process.
So far, it's working. The Iranian nuclear program appears to be right on schedule. As expected, Barack Obama is cooperating, reminiscent of Neville Chamberlain. But Benjamin Netanyahu is not Edward Benes and Israel is not Czechoslovakia. Netanyahu is the right leader at the right time in Israel's history. He will not permit the United States to sell out Israel for some mythical guarantee of peace from Iran. He will go it alone and neutralize the Iranian threat before it's too late.
And a second Holocaust will be averted.